Athletes from across the world have been ranked according to their marketing potential over a three-year period from this summer.
- Value for money
- Home market
- Willingness to be marketed
- Crossover appeal
Colombian, 26, Cycling
King of the mountains bidding to rule the Tour de France
Representatives: Giuseppe Acquadro Comunicazione
Key partners: Movistar, Canyon, Diadora
2015 ranking: 25
Nairo Quintana rode like a pugnacious fly in the 2015 edition of the Tour de France, chasing Chris Froome and his all-conquering Team Sky up countless mountains for three weeks. The Movistar rider’s gallant efforts placed him second in the general classification and his exertions earned him a second maillot blanc, the award for the best young rider on the tour.
His inspiring climbing capabilities have convinced many shrewd observers that he will, at the very least, match Froome in the 2016 reprisal.
Soccer may have surpassed cycling as Colombia’s national sport – since the retirement of Lucho Herrera, the 1987 Vuelta a España winner – but Quintana’s excellence is returning the bike to the national consciousness. When he won the 2014 Giro d'Italia and thereby earned the race winner’s pink jersey, sales of pink ponchos increased rapidly in his homeland.
Quintana, 26, the son of a disabled campesino – a peasant farmer – is now believed to have a net worth of US$4 million. As a child he ferried farmed goods up to his parents’ hill-top house, 10,000 feet above sea level, on a heavy second-hand bicycle every day – a task which prepared him, in hindsight, for his bold, darting attacks on the Alpe d'Huez 20 years later. GD
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